Red duck curry with lychees and basil leaves

A flavourful dish featuring an interesting combination of fruits and herbs.

Serves 4 – 6

Ingredients

4-6 boneless duck breast fillets (780g)

250ml coconut cream

250ml coconut milk

2 tbsp fish sauce

2 tbsp finely chopped palm sugar

530g canned lychees in natural juice, drained (1 can)

5 kaffir lime leaves

1 cup (90g) Thai basil leaves

40g fried shallots

2 small red Thai chillies (serrano) sliced

Red Curry Paste

10-12 dried chillies

180ml boiling water (to make the paste smooth, don’t have to use all)

5 white peppercorns

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp chilli powder

2 shallots roughly chopped

4 cloves garlic roughly chopped

2cm piece ginger roughly chopped

1 lemongrass stalk sliced thinly

3 coriander roots chopped

1 tsp shrimp paste (belachan)

1 tsp finely grated fresh lime rind

Method

Curry Paste

  1. Add the hot water to dried chillies in a bowl until soft
  2. Dry fry peppercorns and ground spices in frying pan stirring until you start to smell it.
  3. Blend chillies and spices with the rest of ingredients until it forms a paste. (Add water bit by bit if required to form a smooth paste)

Duck

  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Pat dry duck breasts, score skin in a crisscross pattern.
  3. Season the duck with salt and pepper.
  4. Place duck breasts, skin side down in pan on low heat, using no oil for 3-4 minutes until fat has rendered
  5. Turn duck and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes or until browned and sealed.
  6. Take the duck off and put in an oven to cook further for 6-8 mins
  7. Drain on paper towel and let it cool and rest for 5 minutes.
  8. Cut duck crossways into thick slices
  9. Add the red curry paste into a hot wok; stir-fry until oil separates and mixture is fragrant.
  10. Stir in the rest of the coconut cream, coconut milk, fish sauce and sugar.
  11. Bring to boil
  12. Reduce heat, add lychees and roughly torn lime leaves, simmer 5 minutes
  13. Add basil.
  14. Serve curry with coriander and lychees

(Image credit: Aaron Rebeiro @ www.reynardandvixen.com)